Big chunk of space junk misses space station

Sep 04, 2009 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
An image taken from NASA video shows a spacewalker Christer Fuglesang holding an old amonia tank outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk of the STS-128 mission Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009. (AP Photo/NASA TV)

(AP) -- A big piece of space junk safely sped by the international space station and shuttle Discovery, missing by less than a mile.

The astronauts were still asleep Friday when the old rocket part, measuring 15 feet around, passed by. NASA had been monitoring the situation and decided that it was unlikely to be a problem, so controllers did not move the station-shuttle complex.

Astronauts went ahead with a Thursday night to install a new fully loaded tank of space station coolant.

The near-miss was at 11:07 a.m. EDT. NASA officials said the closest it was to the astronauts was about 4,200 feet - about 14 football fields.

---

On the Net:

: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Virgin crash sets back space tourism by years: experts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA analyzing junk that could threaten astronauts

Sep 02, 2009

(AP) -- A piece of space junk was drifting toward the shuttle-station complex and its 13 astronauts Wednesday, though NASA officials said the threat would not delay an upcoming spacewalk.

Spacewalkers tackle hefty tank removal in orbit

Sep 01, 2009

(AP) -- A pair of spacewalkers successfully tackled a hefty tank removal job at the international space station Tuesday as their crewmates unloaded comedian Stephen Colbert's namesake treadmill for all "those ...

Truss Work, Spacewalk Preps on Tap Today

Oct 29, 2007

The Space Shuttle Discovery and International Space Station crews are using the station and shuttle robotic arms to move the P6 truss segment and preparing for Tuesday’s spacewalk, the third of the mission. The crews will ...

Recommended for you

China completes first mission to moon and back

1 hour ago

China completed its first return mission to the moon early Saturday with the successful re-entry and landing of an unmanned probe, state media reported, in the latest step forward for Beijing's ambitious ...

Tracking a gigantic sunspot across the Sun

1 hour ago

An active region on the sun – an area of intense and complex magnetic fields – rotated into view on Oct. 18, 2014. Labeled AR 12192, it soon grew into the largest such region in 24 years, and fired off ...

Cassini sees sunny seas on Titan

Oct 30, 2014

(Phys.org) —As it soared past Saturn's large moon Titan recently, NASA's Cassini spacecraft caught a glimpse of bright sunlight reflecting off hydrocarbon seas.

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jsa09
not rated yet Sep 05, 2009
looks like we should start measuring everything in football fields - forget metric we will have the new measure of footballia.

Just wish I new how big a football field was - the footballia is no help to me at all.
adam_shegrud
not rated yet Sep 05, 2009
looks like we should start measuring everything in football fields - forget metric we will have the new measure of footballia.



Just wish I new how big a football field was - the footballia is no help to me at all.



smartass!

:)
earls
not rated yet Sep 07, 2009
How long until the first space junk death? Is that when we start doing something about it?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.